Utah restaurants cope with increasing costs of food

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the cost of food is going up. Paired with a potential national minimum wage increase, experts say it could soon cost more for you to go out to eat.

Sean Miller, the owner of The Park Safe, is trying to come up with a plan to keep a competitive wage and keep costs low for customers, all while his costs of food are increasing.

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“I think people have been really excited to go out,” Miller says.

Although they’re back to the pre-pandemic breakfast rush, Miller says the challenge is not so much getting customers inside the door.

“It’s been a whole different animal, coming back from the pandemic, getting people who want to work or who are willing to do the hard work,” Miller says.

Miller says operational costs are increasing.

“We are right around $15 when you average in tips for bussers and servers,” Miller explains. “How much wages have gone up, it has kind of gone up across the board.”

According to the USDA, wholesale poultry, pork, fruits, and some oils are expected to increase.

“The prices went kind of bananas. It has normalized to a certain degree. Meat, especially bacon, has gone through the roof in the last year,” Miller tells ABC4.

The USDA says costs of food will continue to increase.

“Unfortunately, where the cost ends up gets put back to the customer. I know that it is coming in the next little while,” Miller says. “If it costs a little too much, it will really limit how many times a week someone can come here.”

Miller says he understands why the cost of minimum wage needs to match the rising costs of living.

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